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Poster: Javik Date: Nov 28, 2015 12:55pm
Forum: web Subject: End of an era: Imageshack deletes free accounts

Well, here's yet another example of how the Wayback Machine helps to preserve the "Old Internet".

ImageShack was one of the first free image hosting services on the Internet. I remember using ImageShack back at its beginnings 12 years ago in 2003.

Before there were the first free image hosts like ImageShack, posting images on the Internet was really hard. You had to be somewhat of a computer geek, with access to a webserver, but more than that, you had to have access to a fast webserver with lots of bandwidth, because an image posted on a high activity site could overwhelm your personal image host and max out its bandwidth, bringing it to its knees.

However as of 2014, ImageShack has come under new management. They are changing their business model to be commercial only with "paid premium accounts", and are preparing to expunge all free accounts after January 31st, of 2016.

Yes of course they are a company and they exist to make money. Apparently the Internet freemium model of operation either isn't working for them anymore, or the huge load of millions of free images over the years is now too much for their small company to bear and they need to expunge the dead weight.

This unfortunately is the same situation Google may eventually find itself in, if other companies like Microsoft are successful at toppling Google from its profit position with Internet advertising.

Google is hosting data from hundreds of millions of people for free because it is currently able to afford to do that. However, they are not a government agency like a public library or a school. They don't owe us anything. They have no requirement or even an ability to continue to offer that freemium service to the entire planet for all time.

There may eventually come a point years in the future where I will come back to this post on archive.org and say "Here we go again! Google is in decline, they are no longer as profitable as they once were, and they can no longer afford the costs of their freemium services. They now have to dump those millions of free accounts or start charging for these previously free services to stay alive."

But anyway, this is just another case where the Wayback Machine is important. We are on the verge of losing another fractionally large chunk of the history of the Internet.